May 23 2013 Latest news:
By Dominic Bareham
Friday, February 22, 2013
The family of a popular Norfolk teenager who died in a car crash have spoken of how the support they have received from their local community has helped ease the pain since his death.
Andrew Oakley, 16, of Sunnyside, Diss, was a passenger in the back of a Renault Kangoo van which was in collision with a yellow Ford Transit tipper van on the B1077 between Shelfanger and Winfarthing shortly after Christmas. He was pronounced dead at the scene, despite the best efforts of the emergency services.
However, the family, including Andrew’s mother Rachel Oakley, 42, and aunt Felicity (Floss) Wright, said they had been visited by many of his friends since the crash offering support, while a page set up in Andrew’s memory on social networking website Facebook has received 1,400 messages.
Many of his friends are expected to attend his funeral service at St Mary’s Church in Diss on March 1, starting at 2.30pm, while a number of Diss businesses have helped with funeral, such as by providing cakes and flowers. Mrs Wright said: “It gives us a nice warm feeling to know that the community is supporting us.”
The former Diss High School pupil will be carried into the church to the tune of rapper Eminem’s When I’m Gone to reflect one of Andrew’s favourite music artists, while another of the rapper’s tunes will play when the coffin leaves the church.
The family want the occasion to be a celebration of Andrew’s life and are encouraging his friends to wear casual clothes, including hoodies, trainers, jeans and even onesies.
A local graffiti artist will also be creating a special memory sheet for people to sign which will be draped over his coffin.
A party to celebrate his life will be held afterwards at Diss Cue Club in Sawmills Road.
Mrs Oakley said: “He was a cheeky, lovely boy. He loved BMXing, his Xbox and his mates. He would light a room up. He would only have to look at you and you would laugh. He did not have to say anything.”
Andrew’s family are also raising money to buy new equipment for the ambulance service as a thank you for paramedics’ efforts in the aftermath of the crash. Donations made at the funeral will go towards the appeal, but people can also leave money in an envelope at 29 or 32 Mount Pleasant in Diss or transfer money via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The teen’s father John Oakley died in 2008 and Andrew was well known at Bressingham Steam Museum where he volunteered on Thomas the Tank Engine weekends.
He also had a sister Charlotte, 18 and half-brothers Dale and Mark.
Police in Norwich have launched an investigation after a woman claimed in a tweet she had knocked a cyclist off their bike.
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